Minecraft respawns: the return of the world’s best selling game

Picture this. It’s a late 2012 summer night, your family is asleep and you’re playing Minecraft. If this brings back nostalgia, then you’re not alone. The second top-grossing game of all time, Minecraft holds a soft spot for many fans new and old. 

 “I grew up playing the game and connect fond memories with it, the memories of childhood and having fun with friends brings back joy whenever I play,” freshman Daniel Choi said

An open-world adventure game that came out in 2009, Minecraft boomed and quickly became the most popular game at the time. Minecraft’s popularity peaked around June 2013, but it declined thereafter. Games can’t stay popular forever, and the fanbase moved on. 

However, Pewdiepie’s new series, the Minecraft Mondays tournament, and SMPLive have blasted the game’s popularity back up the ranks again. 

On March 1, 2019, YouTuber CallMeCarson founded a Minecraft server for him and his fellow influencer friends to play, stream, and record Minecraft. With over a billion views, this channel kickstarted a resurgence in Minecraft’s popularity.

On June 21, Pewdiepie uploaded a video of him playing Minecraft as a joke. The video got 26 million views, and he continued the series. He has now uploaded 45 videos with 617 million total views. 

Days after Pewdiepie’s video blew up, content creator Daniel Keem (Keemstar) jumped on the opportunity and started a weekly tournament, Minecraft Mondays, where participants compete for $10,000. The contenders were all popular YouTubers, so the tournament earned instant recognition. The first week amassed 400,000 live viewers, increasing thereafter. The original SMPLive also participated in the tournament. Some of the more popular contenders included Pewdiepie and Ninja.

“Minecraft’s boost in popularity is good, because of how many new and old players can play together. I think Minecraft will at least last a few years before its popularity dies down more,” freshman Boi Thang said. 

The game offers an uncommon, infinite replayability, but it remains entertaining.  

“Minecraft has so many goals that you set for yourself to complete. Minecraft also has many different game modes, and mini games you can play if you get bored the original survival Minecraft,” Thang said.

Due to Minecraft’s new success, the game’s player community has changed. Many older fans have grown past the game, so it’s now filled with a strange mix of new and old players alike.

Not all of the changes are welcome, however.

“I think most Fortnite players are coming over to Minecraft and making the community worse,” Choi said. Fortnite is known to have a bad community, their players are mostly young and childish. The merging of the communities caused Minecraft’s player base to include more “toxic” players. Many may hate them now, but these kids will grow to share the appreciation many have for the game now.

“Minecraft impacted me a lot in my childhood, and now that I’m playing it again I’m remembering why. The game offers so much and replaying it is still as fun as ever,” Choi said.

Aiden Dowling

Junior Aiden Dowling is the Layout and Design Director for BluePrints Magazine. Dowling won Honorable Mention in SIPA’s 2020 features package portion of their Best Visuals Contest, and he won third place in SIPA’s 2020 review portion of their Best Writing Contest. He would like to attend Georgia Tech for a computer science degree. Outside of school, Dowling enjoys being with his friends and volunteering around the Athens community. This year in journalism, he hopes to improve his photography skills. He enjoys the sense of community, the atmosphere of journalism, and how the staff gets work done when they put their minds to it.